Should A Future LPN Become Certified In Nursing Assistance?

  1. I am currently enrolled in a CNA class to gain points towards the LPN class and gain general knowledge to help in the LPN class. I don't plan to work in the CNA field. Should I become certified even though I do not plan to work in this field? Are there LPNs here that took the class for general knowledge rather than for employment and did not become certified?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   NaomieRN
    It would not hurt to do it.
  4. by   swee2000
    I would highly suggest it because alot of schools these days require students to be certified as CNAs prior to starting the actual nursing program. In addition, once you become certified, most states require that you work xx-number of hours at a licensed facility in order to keep the certification active.

    So, if you haven't already checked into it, you might want to check your schools pre-nursing requirements before you finish your CNA class.
  5. by   Lovely_RN
    If you don't plan on working as a CNA while you are in NS then don't waste your time. I went into NS thinking that my previous experience as a CNA would be really helpful and it was for about the first two weeks. After that I was in the same boat as everyone else. I had the upper hand in basic skills, things like bed making and vital signs but that was about it. I had no nursing knowledge and I started at scratch just like everyone else. My past experience as a CNA did help me in clinical because I was used to interacting with patients and I wasn't nervous but again that advantage didn't last long.
  6. by   MedicalLPN
    Working as a CNA on a medical unit helped me out in nursing school in SO many ways! I already had my basic skills down pat and since the hospital I work at trains CNA's to do advanced skills such as foley cath insertion and wound care I was getting a taste of that as well before I was doing it in nursing school. Also I was working with patients that have congestive heart failure, pneumonia, cancer, bowel obstructions, UTI's, cardiac arrythmias, strokes, MI's etc so when we learning about these disorders in class it was familiar because I was already working with patients that had them. Being a CNA here also helped me secure a job on the unit I wanted upon graduation, so honestly the experience is invaluable.
  7. by   Perpetual Student
    If you're already taking the class, I recommend taking the certification test when you're done. It might be required to get the additional points for admission at some schools, or be required altogether at others. Personally, I had no experience whatsoever when I began training to be an LPN.

    As has been mentioned, the experience of working as a CNA might be helpful with interacting with patients and some very basic skills, but the reality is it doesn't make that much difference in school. The focus of nursing education is very different from what aides spend most of their time doing. If you worked as a CNA in the facility where you were doing clinicals it would be pretty handy just so you'd actually know where things are and how they do things.
  8. by   itsmyturn
    Thanks so much, everyone...great info. I guess since I went to all the trouble to get it, 85 more bucks to be certified isn't going to kill me. And, if something happens to where I don't get into the Jan program, at least I can get a job and gain some experience while waiting for the next class.

    I really want to work in acute care if I took a job as a CNA but my class is strictly revolved around LTC and there are no classes for acute care. Would a hospital still hire me regardless of the type of training? Any suggestions that would help me get a position at a hospital instead of LTC? Nothing against the elderly but my desire is peds...like everyone elses dream it seems!
  9. by   swee2000
    Quote from itsmyturn
    Would a hospital still hire me regardless of the type of training? Any suggestions that would help me get a position at a hospital instead of LTC? Nothing against the elderly but my desire is peds...like everyone elses dream it seems!
    I know some hospitals, including the one I work at, hire people who have no job experience(I'm one example). However, since I've never worked on Peds, I can't say for sure if there are or aren't special stipulations when it comes to this type of unit. Also, each facility is different and will have their own pre-employment requirements when it comes to being CNA certified, job experience(or lack of), how much, where, etc.

    On a positive note, I do recall that a friend of mine who had no prior CNA job experience, did get hired at the Children's Hospital(here in WI) to work as a CNA while she was in nursing school. This was probably about 8 years ago, though.
    Last edit by swee2000 on Nov 2, '07 : Reason: correction
  10. by   Ambier
    If you get your CNA, you get the exposure to Nursing. I, as an LPN, have a lot of aides that watch procedures. they are in Nursing school and like the added exposure. Such as we have a patient dying..she has a necrotic foot and a severe tunneling decub ulcer. How often do you get to see those things? Good luck.

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